106.0 Furman University Intellectual Property Policy

Created by: Stephanie Ferguson on 08/10/2007
Category: 1 - Academic Affairs; 00 - General
Originator: Academic Administration
Current File: 106.0
Adoption Date: 04/20/2011
Reviewed for Currency: 04/20/2011
Replaces File:
Date of Origin: 08/02/2007
Classification: Faculty
In Archive? 0

106.0 Furman University Intellectual Property Policy


A. Background

Furman University is committed to free and vigorous intellectual exploration and expression. Hence, the University is committed to providing an environment that supports the research and teaching activities of its faculty, students and staff. In the course of professional duties, faculty create intellectual property. As a matter of principle and practice, the University encourages all members of the Furman community to publish without restriction their papers, books, and other forms of communication in order to share openly and fully their findings and knowledge with colleagues and the public. The long-standing academic tradition that creators of works own the intellectual property resulting from their research, teaching, and writing is the foundation of the University's policy.


B. Policy

It is the general policy of Furman University that intellectual property shall be the property of the author or creator. Exceptions to this rule must be negotiated by the Dean of the Faculty and the Provost with the author or creator. The University encourages its faculty and students to avail themselves of intellectual property protection as defined by United States law, but encourages its members to consider the value of less restrictive access to their intellectual output in order to facilitate and enhance scholarly communications and exchange. The use of Creative Commons agreements, for example, permits the producers of intellectual property to specify a range of protections tailored to their needs and wishes.


C. Guidelines

1. The Dean of the Faculty and the Provost, in consultation with the President when appropriate, shall administer and interpret the policy on Intellectual Property to include any necessary negotiations for Intellectual Property rights with faculty, staff, and students.

2. The term “intellectual property” refers to tangible results of scholarship, research, teaching and advising including but not limited to inventions, creations, new processes, innovations, works of art, audio recordings, films, lecture notes, musical scores, poetry, literature, books, distance learning materials, speeches, podcasts, documentaries, slideshows, and tangible research materials; that is, all copyrightable or patentable works, and the patents and copyrights that reserve rights to them. The term “creator” signifies the individual(s) who invents, creates, authors or innovates with respect to intellectual properties.

3. The University’s Intellectual Property policy applies to works created by all classifications of faculty, staff and students of the University and to non-employees such as consultants and independent contractors, who create works on behalf of the University, unless a written agreement exists to the contrary..

4 The University may negotiate the division of ownership rights to intellectual property created under any of the following circumstances:

a. The creation of the intellectual property was funded in whole or in part by an externally sponsored research program that allocates rights to the University, or as part of any agreement which allocates rights to the University. Ownership of intellectual property created pursuant to an agreement with any sponsor will be governed by the provisions of that agreement.

b. The creation of the intellectual property required use of University resources (e.g. facilities, equipment, funding) and/or University personnel beyond that required for the creator’s professional duties for the University. In these cases, the creator and the University may negotiate the intellectual property rights and the intellectual property rights shall be shared by the creator and the University in a proportion deemed appropriate by both parties according to the particular use of University resources.

c. The creator was assigned or directed by the University to develop the intellectual property. In these cases, the University should negotiate a prior understanding or formal contract with the creator concerning ownership of the resulting intellectual property.

d. The intellectual property was created by administrators, staff or other non-faculty employees in the course of employment duties and constitutes work for hire under US law..

5. Intellectual property created by students is additionally subject to the following guidelines:

a. The University makes no claim to ownership of intellectual property created by students outside the scope of an employment relationship with the University or one of its employees, and the University makes no claim to ownership of intellectual property created by students not making substantial use of University resources (e.g. class projects).

b. Students working on a project governed by a contract or agreement to which the University is a party shall be bound by the terms of that contract or agreement.

c. Students who are directed to perform specific tasks that contribute to the creation of intellectual property (e.g. research students) will ordinarily have no rights to ownership of that work, regardless of the source of funds from which they are paid. In such cases, the party who owns the intellectual property resulting from the rest of the work will ordinarily retain ownership of the portion contributed by the student.

6. In the event of unresolved disputes concerning the interpretation of this policy and/or negotiation of intellectual property rights, the Chair of the Faculty in consultation with the creator shall convene a panel of 3 peers to make recommendations to the Dean of the Faculty and the Provost for consideration.